You remember the Chevrolet Avalanche, right? Of course you do, and you know what? There are more than a few people who’d love to see it return. Not many more than a few mind you – it was dropped from Chevy’s lineup in 2013 due to slow sales after all. But just like the similar-yet-different Subaru Baja from the mid-2000s, the Avalanche has quite a cult following.
That brings us to this well-done rendering from Oscar Vargas on Instagram. We’ve seen work from this artist before, and the attention-to-detail never disappoints. The rendering is based on a current-generation Suburban, but it’s more than just a chopped roof with the trademark bed rails mounted behind the cab. The first-generation Avalanche serves as inspiration for this project, and as such, the bottom half of the exterior is covered with plastic body cladding.
For better or worse, it’s a defining characteristic of the Avalanche so it’s certainly appropriate to have it here. The cladding doesn’t look bad on this rendering, as it’s a close match to the exterior color anyway. Beyond that, we wonder if it might be more accepted in 2021 than it was 15 years ago? We are seeing something of a resurgence in exterior cladding, notably on so-called adventure vehicles like the Subaru Forester Wilderness that seek to convey a rugged persona.
The Avalanche wasn’t just about cladding and SUV-style seating with a pickup bed. The rear of the cab was actually a midgate for a longer bed, and with the rear seats folded, the Avalanche had cargo-carrying capability similar to a pickup truck. That clever functionality is part of its charm, and we’d assume a modern-day Avalanche would offer similar features.
Don’t get your hopes up on seeing one, however. As mentioned previously, the plastic-wrapped Avalanche was never a big seller, even after the plastic was removed for the second-generation model. Chevrolet has made no indication that a revival could be in the works, so for now at least, a new Avalanche exists only in the realm of fictional creations like this one.